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Housing Market Outlook for 2017

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

It appears that the combination of slightly higher mortgage interest rates and the lack of available affordable housing will have a slight negative effect on the national housing market in 2017.  This situation will most likely follow the national trend locally in the Eugene and Springfield area.  Our area currently has the second lowest inventory of homes from sale in the nation.  This is a statistic that is great for anyone wanting to sell a home, but not so favorable for anyone wanting to purchase a home.  Here is an article from "", that address the future of the 2017 housing market nationally.

The days of multiple bids and offers that are typically way higher than a home’s asking price—you know, that stuff that we now consider to be normal in the housing biz—aren’t expected to disappear any time soon. But here’s the good news: Things aren’t expected to get too much worse in 2017 either.

Rising mortgage rates as well as a dearth of affordable, existing homes (i.e., previously lived-in residences) on the market are expected to lead to a smaller increase in sales in 2017, according to the latest quarterly survey from the National Association of Realtors®.

Existing-home prices are expected to go up 4% in 2017, slowing down just a bit from 5% in 2016, according to NAR.The pace of sales is also expected to slow, rising just 2% in 2017, compared with 3.3% in 2016

All in all, 2016 is expected to be the best year for existing-home sales since the height of the housing boom in 2006.

The Challenges Ahead

2017 will “be a year of growth in both sales and prices,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of®. “But that growth will be slower than what we’ve seen over the last three years.”

Those higher mortgage rates have already driven monthly mortgage payments up 7% since the presidential election, Smoke says. And those bigger bills are expected to make it harder for wannabe homeowners, particularly first-time buyers, to qualify for loans.

That’s in addition to the low inventory of available homes on the market that they need to contend with. In November, there were 12% fewer new and existing homes for sale on than the same month a year earlier.

Still, the majority of households surveyed still believe now is a good time to buy a home, But fewer renters are getting the buying bug these days. That’s because housing prices are continuing to go up, making affordability an ever bigger challenge, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Younger households, renters, and those living in the costlier West region—where prices have soared in recent months—are the least optimistic about buying,” Yun said in a statement.

According to the survey, about three-quarters of current homeowners who are over 45, make more than $50,000 a year, and live in the Midwest or South were the most confident that now is the time to close on the homes of their dreams.

They are typically the most financially stable or live in the most affordable regions of the country.

But for everyone else, it’s not all doom and gloom. Lenders are beginning to make more loans to buyers with lower credit scores and down payments as well as higher debt-to-income ratios as a result of rising mortgage rates, says Smoke.

That’s because fewer homeowners are likely to refinance their mortgages now that rates have gone up. To make up for that loss in business, lenders have to issue more loans. And higher rates can net mortgage makers higher profits, he says.

“Lenders are getting more aggressive,” Smoke says. “Credit access already appears to be improving because of the rates.”

Have An Awesome Week!


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Local Market Activity for December 2016

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

2016 was a hot year for home sales in the Eugene and Springfield market areas.  The biggest story of 2016 though is the fact that the inventory of homes for sale was low all year and ended the year at 1.7 months of active inventory.  Home sales in general slacked off towards the end of the year, but much of this was due to the low inventory of homes for sale.  This trend has carried over into January of 2017 as well.

Lane County ended the year with some cooling, but new listings saw a slight uptick from last year. The 215 new listings offered in December surged 1.9% ahead of the 211 new listings offered last year in December 2015, despite a 22.1% decrease compared to last month in November 2016 (276).

Closed sales (370) fell 6.1% short of the 394 closings posted in December 2015 and 1.6% short of the 376 closings posted last month in November 2016.

Pending sales, at 249, fared similarly, showing a decrease of 9.8% from December 2015 (276) and 23.9% from November 2016 (327).

Total market time increased to 77 days in December, with inventory decreasing slightly to 1.7 months.

Year to Date Summary

Comparing the whole of 2016 to the same in 2015, closed sales (5,163) increased 6.1% and pending sales (5,241) increased 3.4%. New listings (6,173) decreased 3.3%.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2016 to 2015, the average sale price rose 8.3% from $243,500 to $263,700. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 7.7% from $220,000 to $237,000.

Have An Awesome Week!


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This Month in Real Estate Januaury 2017

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Home values are 8.1% higher in Lane County, 2015 through 2016.  The trend of increased home values is taking place nationally as well.  At this time, home values in Lane County are above the level they were at prior to the Great Recession.  This means that all of that home value we lost during the recession is back.  This is great news for home buyers who purchased a home at the top of the market prior to the recession.  Many of the homeowners who were underwater in regards to their homes value vs what they owed are smiling again.  

It is very hard to look into the crystal ball and predict where home values will go in 2017, but my guess is that they will continue to rise, but maybe at a slower pace like 2%-3%.  If values rise within these percentages, it will make for a very healty housing market.  This is the kind of market we want to see and one that most likely will result in a stable housing market.

Have An Awesome Week!

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7 Tips Toward Homeownership

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

If 2017 is the year that you are planning on making a home purchase, the environment is going to be good for doing this.  The following are some guidelines for a home purchase that were published in "Realty Times".  

Thinking about buying your first home? What an exciting time this is bound to be. And, also, what a (potentially) overwhelming, confusing, and stress-filled time. It can easily veer into scary territory if you're not prepared and not surrounding yourself with professionals who can help guide you in the right direction.

These seven tips can help you make that dream of homeownership come true in 2017.

1. Work with the right real estate agent

The guy next door or your brother's girlfriend's cousin who just got his real estate license may be hungry to get your business, but that doesn't mean he's your best bet. An experienced agent quite simply knows things that someone who is brand new probably doesn't. An experienced agent will also have important relationships in place that may be able to help buyers in every facet of the home purchase, including:

  • Finding houses that aren't even listed yet

  • Finding homes that may be slightly outside of a buyer's criteria but that are worthy of consideration

  • Leveraging industry relationships to get you great deals or better terms

  • Managing appraisals and inspections

  • Working through every step of the purchase process and handling any issues that pop up along the way

  • Negotiating a deal that works for both sides

2. Don't be afraid to talk to multiple lenders

Your Realtor will most likely have several lenders they have worked with and can refer you to. You may also want to speak to loved ones and get a referral or two from someone they've worked with successfully. Each lender may have a different recommendation and/or knowledge of a special loan that works for you, so it makes sense to look at a few different options.

3. Mind your credit

Many people have no idea what their credit score is, but if you're thinking about buying a home, knowledge is power. Different loans have different minimum credit score requirements, and it could be that your score doesn't measure up for the best loan rates, or maybe you need to do some work to qualify for even the most lenient loan.

A good mortgage lender can advise you on your best options to raise your score, from removing any errors on your credit report, to paying any delinquent accounts, to exploring credit repair options. The earlier you learn your score and delve into the details with a qualified lender, the more time you have to address any issues you find.

4. Save, save, save

For many people, getting the down payment together is the hardest part of buying a home. And the closing costs can be an unwelcome surprise for those who weren't expecting to have to come up with even more cash. When you first set out to buy a home, make sure you know how much you have to save. Your lender should be able to give you a pretty good ballpark based on a certain home price. Housing experts recommend adding 5% to that number just to be safe.

Even if you've never been a great saver in the past, there are strategies you can use that will help you build the nest egg you need for your down payment and closing costs, including these tips from nerdwallet:

  • Automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings can help to make the process mandatory - and maybe a little less painful.
  • Save raises and bonuses rather than spending them.
  • Set aside tax refunds.
  • Keep the change. At least a couple of banks have variations on this theme. For example, Bank of America allows debit card users to sign up for a service that rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the change into a linked savings account.
  • Visualize your goal. Slap big, beautiful photos of your dream house on the refrigerator, near your office workspace - and wrap a small one around the primary credit card in your wallet. You might charge less and save more."
  • As for where to put that money while you watch it grow, experts recommend that "If the plan is to become a homeowner in the next 12 months, the money should be kept completely liquid. That means you can easily access it at any time," said CNN Money. "The best way to do that is in a good old-fashioned savings account, Schulte said. Look for one with a higher yield. In today's low rate environment, that probably means an online-only account like Ally or Synchrony Bank, which currently pay around 1% annually."

5. Lock in your rate

Rates can be unpredictable. Locking in a rate when you get close to buying, which your lender will undoubtedly recommend, can protect you if rates rise. Many lenders also offer a one-time adjustment in case rates go down.

6. Stay at your job

Not happy at work and thinking about making a change? If you're looking to buy a home, you may have to delay that plan. Part of your qualification for a mortgage will be based on your job history. Making a big change just before you buy or during the escrow process will be problematic. Lenders advise buyers to stay the course until after the home closes escrow.

7. Don't open new credit cards or buy a new car

Your lender will spell out the do's and don'ts of how to protect your credit when trying to buy a house, but if you haven't yet talked to anyone and you think you're getting close to be purchase-ready, that Kohl's card you take out to save 20% on your $100 bill could cost you. Before you take out any new debt, check with a lender.

Have An Awesome Week!


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Contact Information

Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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